The most Popular Posts of the past seven days.

Feb 16, 2020


The Alabama River is one of those over its banks because of all of the rain, closing the Riverfront Park and cancelling Harriet II Cruises on Valentines weekend.

There's a flood warning in effect through Monday, the Presidents Day holiday.

Vivil Moved Inside Because of Rain

 Because of rain the Vigil for Victims of Hate and Violence scheduled for 4 PM today, Sunday, February 16 will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 2810 Atlanta Highway instead of on the Capital steps. We hope to see you there for this important event.


   Puerto Rico is an “unincorporated territory” of the United States.
     Its residents are U.S. citizens. 
     Somebody forgot to tell Georgia. 
     A man who moved from Puerto Rico to Georgia used his Social Security Card and his birth certificate to apply for a drivers license, after waiting the required 30 days.
    BAM! He ran into apparent ignorance when he was called back to the Motor vehicle Bureau. The Washington Post reported the story:

"....he wasn’t given a new ID. He was arrested and taken to jail, accused of first-degree forgery and presenting fraudulent documents — both felony crimes. He spent three days behind bars, lost construction work and faced the possibility of imprisonment before ultimately being cleared last March.

     Eventually, Georgia officials admitted they should have treated  him the same way as someone moving from another state.
     It reminds me of the occasional stories about people from New Mexico being blocked from various citizen benefits because some  bureaucrat didn't know it was actually a state.

Political Commercials with a Rough Edge

     Have you noticed the violence displayed in some current political commercials? Tough crowd!

     In one, Republican Second District Congressional candidate Jeff Coleman brags about threatening his daughters' boyfriends with a baseball bat if they disrespect one of the girls. The candidate says in the ad that he did so with his daughters' permission. 
     I wonder what his position will be on domestic violence?

     Another Republican Congressional candidate for that seat, Jessica Taylor, uses a blowtorch with a Trump Bumper Sticker attached to "turn up the heat on the socialist squad" (i.e. three Democratic female members of Congress) burning a sign with the phrase "Socialist Green New Deal" on it."...and Nancy Pelosi, your fired!" she exclaims as she triggers the blowtorch again.
     I guess her previous commercial, branding democrats in congress like "AOC" as arrogant socialists wasn't clear enough?

     There are seven candidates in all running in the Republican Primary for that former Martha Roby seat, including former Attorney General Troy King, who included his mother in his commercial---and no threats of violence. 

There are two democratic candidates running in that party's primary for the second district.

     The March 3rd election is a you will need to choose between the Democratic and Republican ballots. And if there ends up being a run off, you can't switch from the primary you chose first.

Feb 15, 2020

Voter Registration Deadine for March 3, 2020 Election is Monday

Registration information is available HERE.

Partisan? PARTISAN???

     President Donald Trump is predicting a GOP U.S. Senate victory in Alabama following Democrat Doug Jones’ vote at the impeachment trial.
     Trump in a Tweet on Sunday lashed out at Jones as a “lightweight” and called his vote to convict “partisan.”

(Said perhaps the most partisan president in U.S. history.... )

Feb 14, 2020

Which Romanic Novel set in Alabama did The N.Y. Times choose?

Just in time for Valentines Day, the newspaper story identified a romantic novel set in each state and headlined it


50 States of Love

"From sea to shining sea, here’s a tour of unforgettable fiction that explores matters of the heart."

For Alabama:

Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran meet in their first-grade class in Greenbow, Ala. They walk home from school together and quickly become the best of friends — but Forrest (later to be played by Tom Hanks in the movie) will carry a torch for Jenny (Robin Wright) for the rest of his life. As he puts it, “I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.” And that’s smart enough for us."

     Another novel the newspaper could have chosen for Alabama?      
     How about the state's best known Whistle Stop Cafe?

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg 

New photo post

I just added the earliest photo of mine, at least that that I know of. I took it in the backyard of our home in Queens, New York about 1961, An early special-effects effort. 😀

HERE is the photo site.

Grammatical Chicanery

For the 12-Millionth Time...the adjective is  DEMOCRATIC....not Democrat. It's Democratic Party, Democratic Candidate, Democratic Headquarters...not Democrat Party, Democrat Candidate, Democrat Headquarters

Somebody tell The Montgomery Advertiser, which published this copy with a sample ballot for the March Primary Election:

Democrat sample ballot


Of course they are not alone. A few years ago I mentioned to the Republican Secretary of State--John Merrill---that his website page of sample ballots listed them this way:

        Republican Ballot

        Democrat Ballot

He agreed, and told me it would be fixed.. but of course is apparently was not. Look HERE for the March primary list of sample ballots:


     All of this is more than just grammatical, its also political. It is an intentional campaign by Republicans to avoid describing all things Democratic Party related with the positive adjective "Democratic".

     It started decades ago---perhaps as early as the 1940's, and has increased under the current administration:

Donald Trump has used the phrase repeatedly, both during his presidential campaign and as president.[35] In a July 2018 campaign rally, he said that "The Democratic Party sounds too good so I don't want to use that, OK?" He added, "I call it the Democrat Party. It sounds better rhetorically."[36] At a September 2018 rally he said, falsely, that "When you see 'Democratic Party,' it's wrong. There's no name, 'Democratic Party.'"[37] At the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2019, he stated he liked to say, "the 'Democrat Party,' because it doesn’t sound good. But that's all the more reason I use it, because it doesn't."[38]

Will someone please tell the Alabama Secretary of State, the elected official responsible for official elections in Alabama?

(The Alabama Democratic Party has a few more important issues to handle, namely their existence!)

Feb 13, 2020

Goodby USS Montgomery?

Headline from article in Popular Mechanics:

The Navy Wants to Retire a Ship That's Only Six Years Old

Littoral Combat Ships were once seen as the future—no longer.

"The Navy wants to retire the first two ships from the Freedom class of Littoral Combat Ships, USS Freedom (above) and Fort Worth, commissioned into the fleet in 2008 and 2012, respectively. It also wants to retire the first two ships of the Independence-class. USS Independence, the lead ship in the class, was commissioned in 2010. USS Coronado was just commissioned in 2014, making it less than six years old."..."This is probably the beginning of the end of the Littoral Combat Ship program. The U.S. Navy is preparing to build a new guided missile frigate, FFG(X), and the shipbuilding budget for 2021 is 20 percent less than 2020’s."

(USS Montgomery)

 USS Montgomery (LCS-8) is an Independence-class littoral combat ship of the United States Navy. She is the fourth ship to be named for Montgomery, the capital of Alabama. Wikipedia
Length: 418′
Speed: 40+ knots, 47 knots (54 mph; 87 km/h) sprint
Commissioned: 10 September 2016
Awarded: 29 December 2010

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Bites Back

    I'm a longtime critic of contracts that include clauses requiring customers or workers to agree to mandatory binding arbitration, which basically forbid customers or workers from filing class action and other lawsuits against the company. 

     I've walked away from car purchases rather than sign one. 

     Now the ill-fitting shoe is on the other foot, according to a story on The Verge website. It quotes the judge in the case:

"The employer here, DoorDash, faced with having to actually honor its side of the bargain, now blanches at the cost of the filing fees it agreed to pay in the arbitration clause. No doubt, DoorDash never expected that so many would actually seek arbitration. Instead, in irony upon irony, DoorDash now wishes to resort to a class-wide lawsuit, the very device it denied to the workers, to avoid its duty to arbitrate." 

Deepwater Horizon Disaster Spread Oil Beyond The Florida Keys

Oil from the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010 reached a lot further than originally thought, according to a new report out in advance of the upcoming 10th anniversary:

"On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, releasing 210 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico for a total of 87 days, making it the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Oil slicks from the blowout covered an estimated area of 57,000 square miles (149,000 square kilometers).
These new findings, published in Science Advances, showed a much wider extent of the spill beyond the satellite footprint, reaching the West Florida shelf, the Texas shores, the Florida Keys and along the Gulf Stream towards the East Florida shelf."

Mosquitos in Alabama. They never bite me.

    It is not an especially scientific report, but a pest control company identifies three Alabama cities as among the 50 most mosquito infested places in the U.S.

  • Los Angeles
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • New York
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Atlanta
  • Philadelphia
  • Memphis, Tenn.
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Miami
  • San Francisco
  • Boston
  • Orlando, Fla.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Tampa, Fla.
  • San Antonio
  • Phoenix
  • Austin, Texas
  • Oklahoma City
  • Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mobile, Ala.
  • Indianapolis
  • Detroit
  • Cincinnati
  • Fresno, Calif.
  • St. Louis
  • West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • San Diego
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Tulsa, Okla.
  • Shreveport, La.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Jackson, Miss.
  • Cleveland
  • Tyler-Longview, Texas
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Fort Smith, Ark.
  • Montgomery, Ala.
  • Baton Rouge, La.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Honolulu
  • Richmond, Va.
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Paducah, Ky.
  • Milwaukee
  • Denver

  • NOTE: "This ranking was created by compiling mosquito-specific data of services rendered at more than 300 Terminix branches across the country. The rankings represent Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the highest number of actual services between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018." (There appear to be four states the company does not serve).

    Speaking of  mosquitoes. I am never bitten by them. Can't remember the last time it happened and I  have lived in Alabama for almost 45 years. My blood must not appeal to them!

    A Travel Tip

    Saw this in a story in a newspaper in Sarasota Florida, and thought I would pass it on.

    "Travel writer Rick Steves pulls his wallet out of his back pocket as he talks about travel disasters before his Ringling College Library Association speech at Van Wezel. 

    Steves said he frequently keeps a second, empty wallet in his back pocket, assuming he will be pick-pocketed. That wallet usually includes a note to the would-be thief to get a real job." 

    Feb 12, 2020

    10 year Anniversary of UAH shootings.

    Three people were killed and three others wounded in a shooting at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Huntsville, Alabama, on February 12, 2010. During the course of a routine meeting of the biology department attended by approximately 12 people, professor Amy Bishop stood up and began shooting those closest to her with a 9mm Ruger handgun.
    A biology professor at the university, Bishop was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted murder. On September 11, 2012, Bishop pled guilty to the above charges after family members of victims petitioned the judge against use of the death penalty. The jury heard a condensed version of the evidence on September 24, 2012, as required by Alabama law. On September 24, 2012, Amy Bishop was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[1]

    Data Crunch: Healthy Cities

    Wallethub is out with the 2020 most and least healthy 174 American cities. 

    All of Alabama's large cities are grouped together...and not at the top of the list. The capital city is only five places  from the very bottom!

    Huntsville    138

    Birmingham  145

    Mobile          164

    Montgomery  169

    (Notable categories: Mobile is tied with several other cities for the highest premature infant death rate; Huntsville has the fewest mental health counselors in the country;  San Francisco is ranked #1, and Brownsville (Texas) is ranked #174, least healthy.

    HERE is the full list, and the criteria they used to built the rankings.

    Feb 11, 2020

    About "Quid Pro Quo" (I Do This, You Do That)

    A Message from Former Governor Don Siegelman's Son, Joseph:

    What we learned from the Impeachment trial
    Three years ago this last week, my dad celebrated his third anniversary of freedom from federal prison.
    What we learned from my Dad's case: You don’t need a quid pro quo to wind up in prison. In my Dad's case, there was no Quid Pro Quo, much less an express one. He was raising money for a ballot initiative to send children to college for free. There was no allegation he benefited from a single penny.
    What we learned from the impeachment trial of President Trump: Even with an express Quid Pro Quo where the terms of the agreement are asserted if you are a Republican president you can avoid jail time and impeachment.

    The legal definition of "bribery" is exchanging official action for something of personal value. That standard hadn't changed for 100 years, before the Impeachment trial of President Trump.
    For the rule of law to work, allegations of Quid Pro Quo corruption has to apply equally to everyone: either our President's alleged actions constitute bribery or they don't. But if they don't, my dad never should've been prosecuted.
    I just had to get this off my mind, and besides, it’s been a while since I told you how grateful I am to you for working so hard and giving to my campaign in an effort to ensure--in Alabama at least-- the rule of law would matter.
    BTW, my Dad has written a book about all of this, Stealing Our Democracy, which will be available this June!

    Is Roy Moore's 10 Commandments Monument For Sale?

        Roy Moore had placed the monument in the Alabama Supreme Court building (under cover of darkness and without informing anyone he was doing so) in 2003.
         Moore was Chief Justice of the court at the time, a position from which he was removed when he refused to follow court orders to remove the monument. He was re-elected and again, removed, in 2016, this time for refusing to follow the U.S. Supreme court in favor of same-sex marriage.

         Moore moved it into the building at 1 Dexter Avenue, home to his Moral Law group today. 
    (Photo courtesy Alabama News Network)

         The building has been for sale for $2.5 Million for several years.

    No word on what would happen to the monument if someone buys the 1856 building.

         That corner of Dexter is now home to two Christian Monuments. The washing-machine sized monument inside the privately owned Moral Law building, and the display case with a bible inside in the city park next door.

     The bible display as at the very back end of the triangle park recently renovated by the city.

    Departing Congresswoman's Major Issue

         She's on her way not running for another term...a decision that came after Democrats won a majority in the U.S. House, leaving her with few committee plums, but Republican Rep. Martha Roby is still a member of Congress, still being paid $174,000 a year (about three times the average salary in Alabama) and she still gets to have her thoughts published in newspapers like The Montgomery Advertiser.

         Of all of the major issues going on, like the impeachment of the President and his attacks on people who testified against him, like the attacks on U.S. elections by Russia, like budget cuts to Medicaid, threats to Social Security, and unrest everywhere......  here's her column headline for the week:

    Martha Roby: Preventative actions to take during flu season


     Thanks Representative.